Many Americans say that losing their eyesight would have the greatest impact on their day-to-day life – more than losing a limb, their hearing or their ability to speak.
Wearing ANSI Z87 protective compliant eyewear (which costs less than $10) can prevent serious eye injuries. OSHA’s personal protective standard (1926.102[b]) requires that protective eye and face protection meet or exceed the test requirements of ANSI Z87.1. The ANSI Z87 identification is typically located on the eyeware frame. The protective eyewear must also have side shields built into the design, or attachable side shields that meet the above-referenced ANSI standard.
COMMON CAUSES OF EYE INJURY
- Striking or scraping – Most eye injuries are caused by airborne fragments like dust or other small particles from tools and equipment hitting or scraping the eye. Keep in mind that dust or other materials can accumulate on the eyebrows or on the bill of a hard hat and can dislodge and fall into the eyes.
- Chemical splash – Industrial chemicals or cleaning products are common causes of chemical burns.
- Thermal burns and radiant energy – UV rays or thermal gases produced during welding can result in serious damage.
If you get something in your eye, don’t rub it. You can scratch your cornea or drive the fragment in even deeper, resulting in a more serious injury. This increases the likelihood of infection. To remove a particle from your eye, flush the surface with clean water or a sterile saline solution and seek medical attention.
To meet OSHA’s personal protective requirement, prescription eyewear must also meet the test requirements of ANSI Z87.1 (1926.102[b]). The ANSI standard also requires prescription eyewear to have side shields built into the design or attachable side shields. Average prescription eyewear provides no impact protection against flying debris. An impact could shatter the lens, embedding it into the eye and creating a greater injury.
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